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Phalula twins for Poland

A 24-strong South African team heads off to Bydgoszcz, Poland to compete in the 38th IAAF World Cross Country Championships on 28 March.

The team will compete in all four categories of the competition: the senior men (12km), senior women (8km), junior men (8km) and junior women (6km) races.

They will try and better the achievement of the 2009 team to Amman, Jordan who managed to secure top 10 positions in all four races. Only the teams from Kenya, Ethiopia and US managed to achieve the same feat.

South Africa’s hopes will be pinned on the Phalula twins, Lebo and Lebogang, who have just returned from a most successful European cross country campaign.

Lebogang claimed her seventh consecutive title with a time of 28min 56.8sec in the women’s 8km race, relegating twin sister Lebo into second place in 29:15.8, at the African Athletics Confederation’s (AAC) Southern Region Cross Country competition that was held last month in the Seychelles ÔÇô where South Africa made a clean sweep to win the best team title.

Last year in Amman, Lebogang was 29th and Lebo was 39th and the duo will lead a senior women’s team packed with experience to Bydgoszcz.

Stephen Mokoka, who was 32nd in Amman, leads the senior men’s team as they look to improve on their overall ninth place last year when they beat the likes of Japan and Great Britain.

Senior men: Lungisa Mdadelwa (ATRA), Stephen Mokoka (AGN),Joseph Xolisa  Tyali (CGA), Kgosi Samuel Tsosane (AFS), Gladwin Sibabalwe Mzazi (VUT), Siyabonga Nkonde (KZN)
Senior women: Lebo Phalula (CGA), Lebogang-Ross Phalula (CGA), Petronella Thomas (AGN), Ntombisintu Mfunzi (EPA), Tebogo Masehla (CGA), Marelise Retief (AGN)
Junior men: Vuyisile Tshoba (CGA), Lucas Goitsemodimo Bothobutle (CNW), Sityhilo Diko (CGA), Joel Mohau Mmonne (CNW), Wiseman Mfumaneko Fadane (VUT), Pieter Wilders (CGA)
Junior women: Letitia Saayman (AGN), Sylvia Kedireng Tshetlanyane (CGA), Thato Makhafola (CGA), Mamphielo Sibanda (CGA), Ashleigh Schnetler (CGA), Juan Marie Cooper (CGA)
Team managers: Blanche Moila (Head of Delegation), Andre Gobey (Team Manager), Danson Muchoki (Coach), Tumelo Komane (Physiotherapist)